Author: Stephen D. Hans, Hans & Associates, P.C.
As Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn become integrated with doing business, companies and employees need to think about legal implications. Is your activity on a Twitter account proprietary to the company? Can a company file a lawsuit against employees who take their company Twitter followers with them when they leave?
PhoneDog v. Kravitz
A CNN article reported about a case called PhoneDog vs. Kravitz.
According to the article, PhoneDog employed Kravitz from 2006 through 2010. Kravitz acquired 17,000 Twitter followers while working for PhoneDog using the account name @PhoneDog_Noah. When he left the company, he switched the account name to @noahkravitz and used the account to share information written for other tech sites. PhoneDog claimed that since it had helped Kravitz establish his online identity, it was entitled to damages of $2.50 per month for every Twitter account Kravitz took with him. Kravitz argued that PhoneDog agreed to have the account remain his account when he left and even sent out messages to followers to that effect.
The federal judge hearing the case ruled that the case could move forward. We still wait to see the outcome.
Benefit from an employment lawyer’s knowledge and experience
As companies consider adopting social media policies, and courts establish precedents that involve social networking, it is important to seek legal guidance. An experienced New York employment lawyer can provide Human Resources consulting, work with you on devising appropriate company polices for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media networks.